Self-esteem is a tricky thing. Too much and pride is ready to take over. Too little and we question our worth. As with most things, moderation is key because evil lives at the far ends of the spectrum.
A lack of self-esteem can lead to negative self-image and comparisons/judgments, which can often lead to negative thoughts or comments about others, or yourself. I was reminded once during an excellent confession encounter that love is the answer.
In Matthew 22:39, Jesus tells us “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.
What then became so clear, was that for this to really work, I must first love myself as the Father loves me.
I remind myself before the cross, that I am worthy of God’s love, His mercy, and His grace.
Before receiving the Eucharist I pray: Dear Lord, make me worthy of receiving you; Make me a worthy dwelling place for you. And after I’ve received the Eucharist I pray: Make me complete in You.
I want to focus on how my life is full instead of dwelling on what I think may be missing. With positive thoughts of my blessings I know how much I am loved and it opens my heart to share that love with others.
This past Sunday, I was running errands after Mass. While browsing a display of pillows, the woman next to me complimented me on my dress – not just a simple “I like your dress” but “I love that color on you”. Now, this is a dress I bought because I liked the style of it but considered not keeping it because I thought the color wasn’t great for my complexion. This exchange, which took no more than a minute, brightened my spirit and reminded me how important it is to share with those around me those positive thoughts that can so easily make a difference in someone’s day.
We’ve all heard the saying; If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
In our daily communication with others, and with ourselves, we have the opportunity to either do harm or good. I challenge everyone to speak out loud those positive thoughts that can uplift the spirit and remind our friends, family, co-workers, and strangers that “I am worthy”.